This mismatched couple’s lockdown gives them a lot to talk about.
Most people may be vaccinated, but those who aren’t are quite sensitive about the Delta Variant, which causes COVID-19. So, Facebook group pages have warned users not to post anything COVID-19 related. The only reason I have to bring it up is because “Together” is a made-for-TV movie in the U.K., aired on BBC Two, that is set between March 2020 when everyone was on lockdown and the current period when things get better, more or less. In America, the movie gets a theatrical release under Bleecker Street, and like “The Trip” movies, released by IFC Films, it uses talented actors who cut back on the commercialism and portray sentimental characters.
James McAvoy and Sharon Horgan star as a mismatched couple, who aren’t married and dislike each other, but have a little boy (Samuel Logan), and have no recourse but to live under the same roof until things get better. They both break through the fourth wall, as if they’re being interviewed on “The Office,” and they talk about how they dealt with each other as a couple.
Among the things they talk about, and sometimes, they talk too much, there are elements that stick to me. They’re often serious or honest, and sometimes, they’re funny or whimsical, depending on how McAvoy and Horgan deliver.
- McAvoy cheated death when he accidentally ate a poisonous mushroom while he was picking them.
- Horgan works for the charity organization PFN as the coordinator.
- He harvests asparagus for the first time.
- She says her final goodbyes to her COVID-stricken mother in her care home.
- In December, they get in bed for the first time in a long while, not that they’re completely in love again.
- They didn’t have much people at their COVID funeral.
- She talks about what the early stage of the outbreak.
- He talks about a jogger, who doesn’t wear a mask, social distance himself, and grabs the bread he needs. And he thanks the baker for all her hard work during all this.
“Together” was written by Dennis Kelly (in his first film entry since “Black Sea”) and directed by Stephen Daldry (“The Hours,” “Billy Elliott”). Given the circumstances, I’m not sure how movie-goers will take it, whether they were vaccinated or not, and I respect them 100%. But maybe we should look at this movie another way.
We should see it in the ways McAvoy and Horgan follow an entertaining tradition of people who don’t like each other, but connect well as Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock demonstrated in “The Proposal.” Different market values, sure, but still it usually works. Usually, because David Spade and Lauren Laupkis both failed in “The Wrong Missy.” Anyway, it has its emotional and poetic moments, and even if certain topics lose my interests, there are those who have value and levity.
This COVID feature has more courage than “Coastal Elites,” “Songbird,” and “Locked Down” combined, because it shows us how these characters deal with the virus in a more deadpan fashion, and they aren’t afraid to talk about their issues with one another. Will they eventually fall in love with each other? Or will they be more of the same in their connection? That is if it was a connection. We find out during their lockdown and vaccination periods, and it’s conspicuous.
If their characters were married, then I’d say in the “Knocked Up” words of Paul Rudd: “Marriage is like an unfunny version of “Everybody Loves Raymond,” only it doesn’t last 22 minutes. It lasts forever.” But since they’re not married, and they have their conflicts and chemistry, I’d say “bring it on.”
In Select Theaters This Friday